Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This Week on Australian Screens

Cinema Releases for the Week 04/09/08

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - It's not as good as the original from 2004, but this pot-smoking sequel was still entertaining.

In Bruges - I wasn't quite as taken with this feature directorial debut of writer Martin McDonagh, but I liked it well enough (I gave it a B-). It's definitely Colin Farrell's best work yet, and Ralph Fiennes is a hoot as the vulgar villain. I hope the screenplay, by McDonagh, can get some Oscar traction as, aside from Farrell, it's the film's best asset.

Make it Happen - Australia's seemingly never failing desire to pay money for teen dance movies is probably the main reason why this film by Darren Grant is receiving a release here (and the UK) before America (it doesn't even have a US release date as far as I can see). From the screenwriter of Save the Last Dance (good) and Step Up (bad), Make it Happen now takes on the sexy and mysterious (their words, not mine) world of burlesque.

On an embarrassing note, however, I actually think it looks kind of entertaining (much more than Step Up 2 the Streets from earlier this year). And it does star Mary Elizabeth Winstead after all.

Son of Rambow - I have apparently won a free pass to this movie, even though I didn't particularly care to see it. Oh well.

Welcome to the Sticks - The French comedy (yes, another one of those - they're as prevalent as Aussie dramas about drug abuse) that surprised everyone to become the highest grossing film of all time in it's native nation. And it doesn't star Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche or Jean Reno... what's going on there? :P

DVD Releases for the Week 04/09/08

Cassandra's Dream> - Remember when this was announced and everyone was all "omg colin farrell and ewan mcgregor omg" and then the movie came and went without anybody taking any notice? Yeah... Woody Allen is an interesting creature, in that all his movies are roadtested overseas to see whether they should even be released here. Alas, Cassandra's Dream (which was dumped in the US dregs of January by the Weinstein Brothers, naturally) goes direct-to-DVD here. Vicki Cristina Barcelona on the other hand will be out here on Boxing Day. Yes - that's four and a half months after its US release. Raise your hands if you're at all surprised? No? Nobody? Hmmm...

Drillbit Taylor - Ugh. No thanks. This movie feels so 1980s, and yet... and yet... no.

How She Move - Much like Make it Happen up in the cinema releases section, this is yet another youth dance movie that I actually thought looked kind of good. What can I say? I guess I'm a sucker for these sort of movies... as long as it's not Step Up or (even worse) Honey.

The Painted Veil - Now I can finally see this movie that stars Naomi Watts and Ed Norton after I decided to sit out it's belated cinema release (released here 17 months after the USA).

Penelope - Direct-to-DVD for this Christina Ricci-has-a-pig-nose fairy tale movie.

Superhero Movie - The scary thing is that I've actually heard decent word about this movie. I know, right?! But it's true. I still won't be seeing it, just like I haven't seen Date Movie or Meet the Spartans or Epic Movie or...

Street Kings - Blah blah blah Chris Evans sexy.

Untracable - Oh, Diane! Why do you do this to me?

Lastly, I just want to point out that EzyDVD (an Australian DVD retailer) are selling this! This "product has been censored in order to meet the R18+ rating..." hah.

TV Screenings for the Week 04/09/08-10/09/08
Set the HDR, Notable TV screenings for the coming week.

04/09/08, L'enfant (2005), SBS, 10.05PM - I wasn't much of a fan of this Palme d'Or-winning film by the Dardenne brothers, but I'm sure there are many out there who would be who should check it out.

05/09/08, Who Killed Bambi? (2003), SBS, 11.00PM - A little-known French thriller from Gilles Marchand, who is mostly known as the screenwriter of films like Harry, He's Here to Help, and starring Sophie Quinton. It's full of twists and turns and it looks marvellous so check it out if you can.

06/09/08, Bandits (2001), 7HD, 1.00AM - I surprised myself by liking this heist comedy so much. Cate Blanchett is a hoot and it's one of the few times I've actually liked Billy Bob Thornton.

06/09/08, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993), 7HD, 2.00PM - I looooved this movie when I was younger, so I would actually be intrigued to see if I still do.

07/09/08, Annie Hall (1977), C7, 12.00AM - When I first watched Woody Allen's Oscar-winner Annie Hall I wasn't that taken. I own it on DVD (as part of a Woody Allen box-set that I purchased for super cheap) and I keep meaning to rewatch it.

07/09/08, Three Dollars (2005), SBS, 9.10PM - I'll be seeing a lot of Aussie movies this weekend as part of the AFI Film Festival, so while I'm doing that you can catch this nice, if unasuming, Aussie drama from a few years back that stars David Wenham, Sarah Wynter and Francis O'Connor.

07/09/08, Red Lights (2004), SBS, 11.15PM - This is another little French thriller that is worth catching if you can. It reminded me of Sporloos in the way that it's a thriller about a couple who get seperated on the European highways, but this one takes it a different way and I liked it a lot.

09/09/08, Breakfast for Two (1937), ABC1, 2.15AM - Starring Barbara Stanwyck, this 1937 comedy is supposedly a bit of a forgotten gem.

10/09/08, The Leopard Man (1943), ABC1, 12.30AM - Out of the films Jacques Tourneur directed for Val Lewton and RKO Pictures, The Leopard Man is the weakest, but it's still amazing (but, let's face it, it's hard to beat Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie). It's all noirish shadows and unseen frights that Tourneur was famous for in these B pictures from the '40s.

10/09/08, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005), SBS, 1.00PM - Purely because the title is wonderful, although it is apparently a decent movie in its own right.

10/09/08, Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), SBS, 10.05PM - An utterly charming kids film by Hayao Miyazaki featuring the English language voicework of Kirsten Dunst.


Ben Wilson said...

I'd just like to say that I will be watching "Breakfast for Two" as anything with Barbara Stanwyck in it is quite the forgotten gem (except "Double Indemnity", which is an unforgettable gem). If you've never seen "Sorry Wrong Number" or "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers", drop absolutely everything and go and watch them now.

Joel said...

Deep Throat??? Are you kidding me! Good to see its already out of stock...
As for Son Of Rambow, it's bloody brilliant. It's basically what Be Kind Rewind should have been... And if you have free passes, tehn you really have no excuses!

Dave said...

Yes, do see Son of Rambow! It's nothing amazing but it's really fun.

released here 17 months after the USA

I do believe I still hold the record on that, though, right? ;)

Glenn said...

Unfortunately Dave, you definitely do.